Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chinese Five-Spice Truffles for Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! Last summer I tasted fabulous Chinese 5-Spice Truffles at a special event. The chef wouldn't part with his recipe, so I did a bit of sleuthing. I found several recipes on the Internet, and experimented. As always the final outcome depends on the quality of chocolate and, in this case, the spices. I found some locally produced Chinese Five-Spice, and I prefer it to the 'regular' Chinese 5-spice you can get at the local market. In case you want to make your own, scroll down for a recipe for Chinese Five Spice. It's easy to make, and that way you get to control the quality and freshness.

Chinese Five-Spice Truffles

1 lb dark chocolate, preferably 70%
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (you can mix in a bit of sugar if you want to be festive)

Melt chocolate in metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or in a double boiler). Take off stove and pour cream with spices over it. Let stand 2-3 minutes and then whisk together until smooth. Refrigerate for an hour.  Take out of refrigerator and scoop or spoon into balls and put on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Put baking sheets in refrigerator for a few hours to firm up.
When balls are cold and solid, roll in cocoa powder, shaking off excess.

Chinese Five Spice
Recipe from

3 Tbsp cinnamon
6 star anise or 2 teaspoons anise seeds
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1⁄2 teaspoons szechuan peppercorns
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in blender or coffee grinder. Blend until finely ground. Store in airtight container. Keeps up to 2 months.

Tip: You can "roast" the whole spices a bit for a more intense flavor in a dry frying pan, but watch closely, so spices don't burn

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